Hydrogen News from Australia – Nov. 2023

Growing Australia’s Hydrogen Industry

November 9, 2023

Australia’s ambition is to become a renewable energy super power, decarbonise our economy and increase clean energy exports to contribute to regional and global decarbonisation. Australian-made hydrogen will be essential to making our ambition a reality.

As a fuel hydrogen produces no carbon emissions, only water.

We can use it:

  • to blend with (or replace) natural gas for homes, industry and cooking
  • for fuel cells to generate electricity to power cars, trucks, buses and trains
  • to store energy and generate electricity for mining sites and remote communities
  • as an industrial chemical feedstock for products such as ammonia, fertiliser and iron
  • to trade clean energy with other countries.

Australia has an abundance of natural resources to make clean hydrogen for our own use and to supply the world.

Our vision is to build a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians. Since the release of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy in 2019 there is now a $127 billion pipeline of announced hydrogen investment in Australia.

This includes over 15 projects that have passed final investment decision (FID) and over 80 announced renewable hydrogen projects. CSIRO managed HyResource maintains a database and map of these projects.

This pipeline of projects is diverse, with the potential to help revitalise manufacturing, support regional economies, create jobs, investment and trade opportunities, while helping Australia achieve its decarbonisation targets.

National Hydrogen Strategy Review

The Australian Government will be leading a Review of the National Hydrogen Strategy to ensure Australia remains on a path to be a global hydrogen leader by 2030 on both an export basis and for the decarbonization of Australian industries. Find out more about the National Hydrogen Strategy Review.

Hydrogen Headstart Program

The $2b Hydrogen Headstart Program will provide revenue support to large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive hydrogen production contracts. Find out more about the Hydrogen Headstart Program.

Annual Statement of Progress

The State of Hydrogen 2022 report finds Australia has the resources, technical skills, and track record with international partners to seize the opportunity to become a global hydrogen powerhouse.

HyResource, managed by CSIRO, also provides up to date information on hydrogen industry development in Australia with the latest news on private sector leadership and Government actions.

Partnering internationally to supply hydrogen

We are setting the foundations for Australia to be a major hydrogen exporter. We are doing this by partnering with other countries to attract investment, build supply chains and advance research and development.

Guarantee of Origin scheme

We are working with industry to design and develop an internationally consistent Guarantee of Origin scheme for Australia.

Among other things, the scheme will support a future trade in clean hydrogen by informing customers about the emissions and other relevant attributes of the hydrogen they buy.

We have released a consultation paper on the proposed scheme policy design, and are holding industry trials to shape the scheme. These trials build on the results of a discussion paper released in 2021.

The proposed scheme design draws on our work with the International Partnership on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE). Through the IPHE, we are working with other countries on methodologies to determine the carbon emissions of hydrogen and its derivatives (e.g. ammonia), transport and storage.

Building regional hydrogen hubs

The Australian Government has invested more than $500 million to support the development of hydrogen hubs in regional Australia. The hubs will co-host producers, users and potential exporters of hydrogen across industrial, transport, export and energy markets.

Regional Hydrogen Hub funding has been announced for projects in:

  • the Pilbara and Kwinana in Western Australia
  • the Hunter in NSW
  • Bell Bay in Tasmania
  • Gladstone in Queensland
  • Port Bonython in South Australia.

Improving Australia’s hydrogen regulation

We are reviewing Australia’s regulatory frameworks to better support hydrogen industry development and safety.

This includes working with state and territory governments to:

  • review federal, state and territory laws that affect the hydrogen industry
  • identify regulatory barriers to hydrogen projects in Australia
  • recommend ways to address these barriers, and promote more efficient, certain and transparent hydrogen regulation.

The review outcomes have underpinned the identification and development of priority measures for hydrogen regulation which currently include:

  • Development and delivery of 5 National Hydrogen Codes of Best Practice
  • Prioritised transport regulatory reforms
  • Development of standardisation of best practice (accelerated standards development)

Co-design workshops for the national codes are being held over October-November 2023. 

Better informing the market and Australians

HyResource and HyLearning

The Australian Government has funded CSIRO to develop and manage a one stop shop web portal called HyResource which is designed to inform the market and improve information and communication to the community.  

This helps the market understand what projects are underway, and what regulations and incentives exist at the national, state and territory government levels.

HyResource and HyLearning platforms also helps Australians understand:

  • the benefits and risks of hydrogen
  • how to use hydrogen safely
  • the benefits of a strong Australian hydrogen industry, including economic opportunities and lower carbon emissions.

Mapping Australia’s Hydrogen Future – the Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool

Geoscience Australia, in collaboration with Monash University, has developed a tool mapping the economic viability of hydrogen operations across Australia. The Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool (HEFT) helps policymakers and investors make decisions about the location of new infrastructure and the development of hydrogen hubs. Preliminary results show that economically viable regions for hydrogen production are located across Australia. All states and territories have regions with high potential.

Progressing the hydrogen industry

We are also:

  • completing a National Hydrogen Infrastructure Assessment
  • reviewing national gas laws and considering the regulatory reforms and economics of using hydrogen in gas networks
  • providing support for hydrogen pilots, trials and demonstrations via the Industry Hubs Program.
  • working with CSIRO to support the Australian Hydrogen Researcher Network (AHRN) and collaboration on hydrogen R&D, including the HyResearch website
  • working with Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation to de-risk investment in demonstration projects and share knowledge to encourage innovation.


Australia opens “Hydrogen Headstart” programme

OCT 10, 2023

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has opened applications for the $2 billion (€1.2 billion) Hydrogen Headstart programme today (10 October). (for details please follow the link below)


08 June 2023

On 12 May 2023, the South Australian Government announced a proposal for ‘world first’ hydrogen and renewable energy legislation. The Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Bill 2023 (SA) (Bill) would, if passed, be the most significant State-level reform in the renewables sector in Australia, by streamlining regulatory processes throughout the life-span of renewable energy and hydrogen production projects. (for details please follow the link below)


‘Significant concentrations’ of natural hydrogen detected at Australia’s first exploration well — raising hopes of world-first commercial exploitation

Brisbane-based Gold Hydrogen confirms ‘active hydrogen system’ with H2 concentrations of 73.3%, with discovery of helium adding to potential value of site

1 November 2023

An Australian company hoping to find the world’s first commercially exploitable reserves of naturally occurring hydrogen has said that it has detected “significant concentrations” of up to 73.3% H2 in gases emerging from its first exploration well in South Australia.

This demonstrates that the site contains “an active hydrogen system”, said Brisbane-based Gold Hydrogen in a statement to the ASX exchange, suggesting that it is continuously producing new quantities of H2.

It also discovered “a relatively high concentration of helium”, which it describes as “a rare and valuable resource” that if found in commercial grades and quantities “could be a significant value-add” to its Ramsay project.

Gold Hydrogen drilled to a depth of 1,005 metres at its Ramsay 1 exploration well, and found “widespread connected fracture systems within the target formations”, which were “essential for the migration of hydrogen from the deeper source to shallow zones from which it can be potentially be extracted”.

Concentrations of hydrogen were at their highest — 73.3% — at a depth of 240 metres, which was consistent with findings from unsuccessful oil drilling at the same site in 1931.

However, the amount of natural hydrogen present under the ground — and therefore whether it is commercially exploitable — is still to be determined.

“The results remain preliminary in nature and further ongoing evaluation of the well and sampling data will be required to reduce the remaining uncertainties around the vertical and lateral distribution of the natural hydrogen,” said Gold Hydrogen. “However, the Company is pleased that these preliminary results support its ongoing work in discovering Australia’s first natural hydrogen field.”

A second well, known as Ramsay 2, about 500 metres away will be drilled in mid-November to help determine the volumes of H2 present.

A gas sample taken from Ramsay 1 at a depth of 892 metres contained 3.6% helium and 96.4% nitrogen.

“This suggests that the basement [layer of rock] is generating helium in significant amounts, and that the overlying weathered zone [ie, containing decaying rock] may act as a reservoir retaining the helium in commercial concentrations,” said Gold Hydrogen.

“Helium is a valuable and rare commodity, and its unique properties gives it a widespread usage in themedical industry, as well as for scientific research, space exploration, diving and energy industry applications. There is no way to manufacture helium artificially, and its price fluctuates based on global demand and declining supply. Helium currently trades upwards of US$600/MCF [million cubic feet], which is up to 200 times more than LNG [liquefied natural gas].”

Gold Hydrogen managing director Neil McDonald said: “It is incredible It is incredibly exciting that we have replicated the results of 100 years ago at 240m. With the additional find of helium, which could be a significant value-add to the project, we view these results as being better than planned.”


There are six known ways in which hydrogen is produced naturally:


In which the mineral olivine located in mid-ocean ridges or ophiolites (a geological formation where sections of the Earth’s mantle rise above sea level) is weathered to form hydrogen-rich fluids. This has been seen in the Semail ophiolite, in the Hajar Mountains of Oman

Radiolysis of water

Radioactive elements in the Earth’s crust — for example in crystalline basement rocks with high content of uranium, thorium or potassium — decompose water molecules trapped in causing a hydrogen pocket, as happened in South Australia

Deep degassing

In which “primary” hydrogen (a single hydrogen atom attached to a single carbon atom) escapes from deep within the Earth’s crust. This has been seen in Nebraska, in the US

Iron reduction and sulphur oxidation

Ferric iron in a black smoker (a subsea hydrothermal vent formed from iron sulphide deposits) is reduced to ferrous iron and hydrogen sulphides

Thermal decomposition of organic matter

In which ammonium compounds located in deep sendiments decompose under high temperatures to form hydrogen and nitrogen, for example in hydrogen-nitrogen gas seeps in Oman

Biological activity

Hydrogen is produced by microbes living in the Earth’s crusts, usually co-existing with hydrogen-consuming microbes and found via sediment or aquifers. This has been observed in the coal beds of the Powder River Basin in Montana, US.


Federal Government to underwrite 1 GW of green hydrogen projects

19 July 2023

Consultation periods end next month

In Australia’s hydrogen industry is progressing, but not fast enough, we reported the Federal Government’s Budget announcement that it had committed $2 billion to the ‘Hydrogen Headstart’ program, and flagged that it and each of the state and territory governments had agreed to conduct a review of the National Hydrogen Strategy. On 7 July 2023, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water released a consultation paper on the Hydrogen Headstart program, which aims to support at least 1 gigawatt of green hydrogen projects, with the expression of interest phase to commence in late 2023 or early 2024. The Government also released a consultation paper on the review of the National Hydrogen Strategy. (for details please follow the link below)


Hydrogen industry update in Australia

July 2023

The recent announcements of funding rounds and the release of State Bills and policies regulating hydrogen and its related activities provide both clarity and areas of interest for stakeholders in the growing Australian hydrogen industry.

This update provides a state-of-play of developments in the proposed funding and regulation of hydrogen across each Australian jurisdiction. (for details please follow the link below)



May 2023

We are working with domestic and international partners from across the hydrogen supply chain to develop Queensland’s largest renewable hydrogen project in Central Queensland, with the view to exporting renewable hydrogen via its different carriers, to Japan and Singapore, as well as supplying large industrial customers in Central Queensland.

Central Queensland hydrogen (CQ-H2) Project commences Front End Engineering Design (FEED)

We are working with Japanese foundation companies Iwatani CorporationKansai Electric Power CompanyMarubeni, and Singapore headquartered Keppel Infrastructure to undertake a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study for the project, with a commitment of AU$117 million from government and consortium partners.

The FEED study represents the largest investment in an Australian renewable hydrogen project of its kind to date.

The proposed project involves the development of a Hydrogen Production Facility, Hydrogen Transport Facility (hydrogen gas pipeline) and Hydrogen Liquefaction Facility, as well as supply of hydrogen to an ammonia production facility.

If progressed, the project aims to deliver renewable hydrogen via its different carriers, to Japan and Singapore, as well as supplying large domestic customers in Central Queensland. Commercial operations are planned to commence from 2028.

The purpose of the FEED study is to develop the project’s technical, commercial, and social requirements to enable a Final Investment Decision to be made with confidence. The start of FEED follows the successful completion of a feasibility study in 2022, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The project has secured FEED funding from all consortium members, as well as $20 million from the ARENA, and $15 million from the Queensland Government’s Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.

At its peak, the proposed project will support more than 8,900 new jobs, and will also deliver $17.2 billion in hydrogen exports and $12.4 billion to Queensland’s Gross State Product over its 30-year life. It will also benefit construction, utilities, heavy manufacturing, and a range of local service industries.

Key milestones for CQ-H2 Project

  • secured land for the Hydrogen Production Facility through Economic Development Queensland in Aldoga near Gladstone (April 2021)
  • secured funding from the Japanese Government (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to support Japanese partners’ contribution to the feasibility study (June 2021)
  • signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CQ-H2 consortium and commenced the feasibility study (September 2021)
  • secured Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding of $2.17 million for the feasibility study (September 2021)
  • Stanwell signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Acciona to source energy from the Aldoga Solar Farm for the CQ-H2 Project (December 2021)
  • secured $69.2 million from the Australian Government for the Stanwell-led Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub, which includes funding for common user infrastructure that will support the CQ-H2 project (April 2022, confirmed through October 2022 Federal Budget)
  • completed a detailed feasibility study (June 2022)
  • Queensland Government announced FEED funding of $15 million through the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund (June 2022)
  • signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly fund a pre-FEED stage to complete the planning required to commence FEED in early 2023 (November 2022).
  • signed a Participation Agreement with consortium partners to jointly fund the FEED stage to move the project towards FID (May 2023).
  • secured Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funding of $20 million for the FEED stage (May 2023).

Supporting the growth of Queensland’s renewable hydrogen sector

We are working with government, industry partners and education providers to support the growth of the renewable hydrogen industry in Queensland. This includes investigating opportunities to maximise local workforce and manufacturing development, developing skills and training programs, and supporting renewable energy investment.

Supporting long-term benefits for the Central Queensland region

We are committed to working with the Gladstone community to ensure the project creates long-term benefits for the region, and will continue stakeholder and community engagement activities in Gladstone during the FEED stage.


Australia may abandon hydrogen exports in favor of green steel – Sanjeev Gupta

29 May 2023

The future of the country may lie in the use of DRI in conjunction with electric arc furnaces

Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance steelmaking alliance Sanjeev Gupta urged Australia to abandon hydrogen exports in favor of DRI and green steel production. He told about this at the specialized conference, informs AuManufacturing.

According to Sanjeev Gupta, Australia’s future is DRI combined with electric arc furnaces to produce environmentally friendly steel. In the future, the country can become one of the leading centers of clean energy and thus strengthen its own economy.

Gupta also praised the federal government’s actions to combat climate change and the Hydrogen Headstart program, which provides revenue support for large-scale renewable hydrogen projects through competitive contracts for its production. The country is investing $2 billion in this program, it was announced recently. This investment is expected to accelerate the development of hydrogen production in Australia and help to connect to new global hydrogen supply chains.

The GFG Alliance chief executive also backed calls for Australia to introduce its own carbon import duty to level the playing field for local industry.

In Australia, GFG Alliance owns and operates the producing companies InfraBuild and Primary Steel and Mining, as well as SIMEC Energy Australia, which is engaged in renewable energy.

As GMK Center reported earlier, the Ministry of Finance of Australia has increased long-term price forecast on iron ore and coking coal in the updated federal budget. In October 2022, it was predicted that by the end of the first quarter of 2023, the price of iron ore would fall to $55/t FOB, and for coking coal – to $130/t. Currently, expectations are raised to $60/t and $140/t FOB for iron ore and coking coal, respectively.


Study points to hydrogen’s future powering SA homes and businesses

3 November 2023

Hydrogen has the potential to provide a carbon-free alternative gas supply for households and industry, according to a landmark new study.

Research from the Australian Hydrogen Centre (AHC) shows South Australia’s bold initiative to blend hydrogen into the state’s gas networks could pave the way for the abundant element to supply 100 per cent renewable hydrogen through the state’s distribution networks – taking the system to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The AHC study, supported by the South Australian Government, investigated whether it was technically and economically feasible to use existing gas infrastructure to distribute hydrogen at scale.

It found a move to 100 per cent hydrogen in the state’s gas distribution network – up from the 5 per cent renewable gas blend currently supplying 4000 households in Adelaide’s south under a pilot program – was feasible.

Further, it found such a program could:

  • optimise renewable generation infrastructure currently being underutilised to supply 3,230 MW of electrolyser capacity and 6 petajoules of long-term hydrogen storage by 2050
  • boost hydrogen production from 550 terajoules per year in 2030 to 34.95 petajoules per year in 2050 – an increase of 6400 per cent
  • create 2,204 South Australian jobs during construction, and 875 ongoing jobs.

With hydrogen high on the international agenda after the recent Asia Pacific Hydrogen Summit in Sydney, the results add to the body of evidence that hydrogen can play a critical role in rapidly decarbonising the global economy.


Australian startup aims to produce hydrogen with 30% less electricity

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, has teamed up with RFC Ambrian to form a new company to commercialize electrolysis tech. CSIRO said the aim is to produce hydrogen with 30% less electricity than existing alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane technologies.

AUGUST 25, 2023

The CSIRO and Sydney-headquartered RFC Ambrian have co-founded Hadean Energy to advance the development of the CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) technology. It said the tech could significantly reduce hydrogen production costs and help to decarbonize heavy industry.

The International Energy Agency estimates that demand for hydrogen will increase 138% by 2030, but high production costs and energy inputs are key challenges for producing green hydrogen.

The CSIRO said its SOE technology, which relies on ceramic tubes with electrodes on the inside and out, produces hydrogen by electrolysing water using a combination of heat and electricity. The agency said SOE requires less than 42 kWh of electricity to produce a kilogram of hydrogen while alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) alternatives require about 60 kWh/kg of hydrogen.

Sarb Giddey, lead scientist on hydrogen research at CSIRO, said the technology has the potential to produce hydrogen at a higher efficiency and lower cost, allowing industry to dramatically reduce emissions.

“It allows industrial waste heat to be integrated back into the industrial processes, which decreases the electrical energy required to produce hydrogen or syn-gas by up to 30%,” he said. “It’s great news for industry, because integrating the hydrogen product back into industrial processes onsite also eliminates storage and transport costs while drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels in the industrial process.”

CSIRO said it will now establish a pilot scale demonstration plant at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks on the New South Wales south coast to trial the technology in an industrial environment.

RFC Ambrian Chief Investment Officer Stefan Skorut said the technology is well placed to address the existing industrial hydrogen market which is currently almost 100% derived from fossil fuels.

“While SOE is the most efficient method of electrolysis, green hydrogen and synthetic fuels will remain uneconomic unless we address the scalability and cost of electrolysers,” he said. “CSIRO’s tubular SOE technology represents a step change improvement across these metrics.”

The trial with BlueScope will commence in April 2024. The CSIRO said findings from the trial will help to demonstrate the technology at a higher scale and confirm the technical robustness of the equipment. Hadean Energy will have exclusive rights over the SOE technology.


Sungrow Presents its Green Hydrogen Solutions at the Asia Pacific Hydrogen 2023 Summit & Exhibition

4th November 2023

The Asia Pacific Hydrogen 2023 Summit & Exhibition was held in Sydney, Australia, recently. Sungrow showcased its flexible green hydrogen production solutions at the show, making a stunning presence and demonstrating innovation to fuel Australian carbon neutrality.

As Australia’s influential hydrogen energy activity, this exhibition was hosted by the Sustainable Energy Council and the Australian Hydrogen Council, bringing together the world’s leading innovative hydrogen energy technologies, solutions, and best practices.

The flexible green hydrogen production solutions that Sungrow presented are ideal for tackling the fluctuations and intermittence of wind and solar power, improving the efficiency of large-scale hydrogenation, reducing energy consumption, and meeting the demand for large-scale and multi-scenario green hydrogen production.

Zhang Min, the Overseas System Solution Director of Sungrow Hydrogen, pointed out that Australia has unparalleled wind and solar power resources, and the Australian government also has an ambitious plan for hydrogen development. Sungrow’s one-stop and tailor-made flexible hydrogen production solutions perfectly align with the Australian hydrogen strategy.

Sungrow has built a “flexible, efficient, friendly” green hydrogen production system. The company focuses on the whole industrial chain, covering the IGBT hydrogen production power supply, electrolyzer, and intelligent hydrogen management system, thus can conduct the function of full-domain monitoring and cluster control from the power source to the application terminal.

In recent years, Sungrow has supplied several benchmark green hydrogen projects in China. The company is prepared to pioneer more global hydrogen markets with its cutting-edge solutions and world-class services.